What a week for some AEW action, eh? We got two certified classics in the making and I can’t wait to tell you all about them in our weekly recap.
4/6/22 AEW Dynamite Recap
Match 1: Adam Cole vs. Christian Cage
The night got off on the right foot with this hot opening contest. Adam Cole was looking for a big win to bolster his chances of securing a rematch for the AEW World Championship, while Christian was looking to silence someone who has been a big thorn in the side for Jurassic Express.
Both Christian and Cole employed veteran wits an attempt to see who’d pick up the win here in a match that had the crowd on their feet throughout.
While Cole didn’t use the help of reDRagon to pick up the victory, he’d use some underhanded tactics by countering Christian’s Killswitch with a hook of the legs on the ropes. Cole used this momentary distraction to poke Christian in the eye while the referee wasn’t looking before putting away his foe with the Boom knee for the 1, 2, 3.
The reDRagon duo of Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish came down to the ring after the match to help Cole beat down Christian, but were eventually warded off by Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus. This left Cole alone to be confronted by AEW World Champion “Hangman” Adam Page.
Cole angrily yelled for Hangman’s music to be cut. The cowboy, however, wasn’t going to have it. Page said that he was going to give Cole the World Title match he was demanding, but it was going to serve as a punishment. That punishment was going to be doled out next week on a live Rampage in the form of the Texas Deathmatch. Page ended the promo by telling Cole to get his affairs in order until then.
Match 2: Samoa Joe vs. Max Caster (Owen Hart Men’s Tournament Qualifier)
Prior to the match, Max Caster dropped a rap where he boasted he was “main event Max and that Joe was “X Division” and he was going to send him home injured once again.
Once the fun and games were over, it was strictly business as Joe dominated in the only way he knew best. Joe defeated Caster in short order, bringing back the Muscle Buster as a finisher to qualify for the Men’s Bracket of the Owen Hart Memorial Tournament.
Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt had some words for Joe after the match, where the former said Joe ignored his calls for months, because he only answered the calls for billionaires. Calling him a “Samoan Gold Digger”, Lethal and Sonjay announced that they had a big surprise for Joe next week in New Orleans.
“Off My Nut With Excitement”
We got two matches announced for Rampage with Trent Beretta vs. Bryan Danielson and Wheeler YUTA vs. Jon Moxley, part three. William Regal remarked that he was “off his nut with excitement” for these two matches, adding that while Wheeler has impressed him and Danielson, he still neeeded to prove himself versus Mox.
Match 3: Captain Shawn Dean vs. Shawn Spears
With MJF on commentary, this match looked to be an easy win for “The Chairman” against Shawn Dean, who had already gotten a win over Maxwell Jaxwell thanks to CM Punk causing a DQ.
Spears was in control for the entirety of the match, and looked to have the match put away with his finishing maneuver, but was interrupted by the sight of security guards being laid to waste. The cause of this destruction was, of course, made clear when Wardlow once again stormed through an entire brigade of security. While Wardlow didn’t get to beat the hell out of either Spears or MJF, his presence was enough for Captain Dean to get the surprise rollup win.
Best Friends No Longer?
The Best Friends confronted Wheeler YUTA about his desires to join the Blackpool Combat Club as of late. While Chuck Taylor was disappointed with Wheeler after having done so much for him like paying for the attire he’s worn, Trent Beretta was angry with the rookie, telling YUTA that he was a ‘scumbag traitor” for turning his back on the Best Friends.
That’s Not Entertainment
Footage from earlier in the evening was shown of Eddie Kingston, Santana, and Ortiz getting some revenge on the Jericho Appreciation Society. The LAX allies chased off Jericho and company from the arena, complete with Kingston chucking a flatscreen TV (the same one used for the backstage interview setup) at the fleeing J.A.S. members.
Back live, we got remarks from Kingston and PnP. They said that the next time they saw the J.A.S, it would be “on sight”, and they’d kick Jericho’s ass.
How Do You Solve A Problem Like Marina?
On the stage, Jade Cargill and “Smart” Mark Sterling were interviewed by Tony Schiavone.
Jade introduced her “Baddie Section”, defining them as women who knew their own value. She said that Marina Shafir might’ve been a “badass”, but she was no Baddie. Jade declared that she was tired of “MMA losers” coming into her ring, and that she was “The Problem Solver” to end her promo.
“It’s Like A Circus Here!”
An incensed MJF was interviewed following Shawn Spears loss to Capt. Shawn Dean earlier in the evening. Max said that there’d be more security next week to help deal with the Wardlow problem if he showed his face again. He challenged Capt. Dean to a match next week, promising to cause more pain to the former soldier than he ever experienced in combat. MJF made his exit, remarking upon seeing the destroyed backstage TV that “it’s like I’m in a circus!”
Match 4: The Hardys (Matt & Jeff Hardy) vs. The Butcher and The Blade (Tables Match)
What should’ve been a fantastic ladder match between one of the greatest tag teams ever and one of AEW’s most underrated tag teams didn’t really live up to expectations… largely due to the confusion that surrounded the rules of this match.
The match was elimination rules, where the only way to eliminate an opponent was to use an offensive move through a table. That elimination rule seemed to be ignored as Jeff was taken out of the match due to a diving spear/suplex combination from the Butcher and the Blade. Despite this, Jeff remained in the contest and scored the winning table smash by diving onto the Blade through a set of tables.
The rest of the Andrade Family Office looked to beat down the Hardy brothers, but were confronted by Sting (sans Darby Allin). Andrade and crew just backed off for the time being.
A Challenge Made
We’re backstage with Christian, Luchasaurus, and Jungle Boy. Christian, still upset about his loss to Adam Cole, threw his bottle angrily and just walked off. Jungle Jack said that reDRagon’s AEW record means they’re not good enough to challenge for the Tag Titles, but he and Luchasaurus threw down the challenge themselves for a Tag Title match on next week’s Dynamite.
Match 5: Hikaru Shida vs. Julia Hart (Owen Hart Women’s Tournament Qualifier)
Julia Hart’s dark side seemed to manifest itself in full as she attacked Shida before the bell and used her Varsity jacket as a weapon to strangle her foe. She then ordered Griff Garrison and Brian Pillman Jr. to leave when they showed disapproval for her dirty actions.
As for the match, Shida proved why she was one of the top stars in AEW’s women’s division, weathering Hart’s assault and ultimately prevailing with the Falcon Arrow to earn her spot in the Women’s Bracket for the Owen Hart Memorial Tournament.
While Shida celebrated her win, hated rival Serena Deeb tried to attack her from behind with a chair, but the former AEW Women’s World Champion was armed with her kendo stick and confronted Serena. “The Professor” retreated.
No Walls, No Limits
Swerve Strickland talked about how he and Keith Lee didn’t exactly have the best week last week, before going into his locker room to work on some things. Powerhouse Hobbs and Ricky Starks snuck into Swerve’s locker room and tried to ambush him. Keith Lee entered the fray as the four men threw hands with one another. The Limitless One ended the melee by ramming Hobbs right through the wall.
Match 6: FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) vs. The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) (AAA & ROH World Tag Team Championships)
The long-awaited rematch between two of the greatest tag teams in the world right now lived up to the hype, to make a long story short.
This near-20 minute instant classic was the perfect way to cap off a night of exciting AEW action in Boston.
Just in case the weeks of Bret Hart hinting as it relates to FTR potentially having the Hitman as their new manager wasn’t clear enough, we saw Matt Jackson mockingly do the Bret taunt at one point of this match. Meanwhile, Dax and Cash offered up stereo Sharpshooters on the Bucks as their own way to pay homage to Bret.
The Bucks looked to steal the win by stealing FTR’s Big Rig, following a cheap low blow on Cash, but that was not enough for the win. More Bang For Your Buck from the Jackson brothers produced similar unsuccessful results, so that meant more cheating in the form of a shot with the ROH Tag Team Championship on Cash. Luckily, Dax Harwood made the save in time.
The Bucks appeared to have the win in hand when they floored Cash with the BTE Trigger. However, Wheeler was able to get his foot on the ropes in time for referee Rick Knox to see. With that, the match marched on. The Bucks attempted to finish things off with the Meltzer Driver, but FTR fought them off, before leaving Matt all by himself.
Dax and Cash hit Matt Jackson with a BTE Trigger of their own, before mocking the Bucks’ kissing spot and finally hitting the Big Rig to retain their AAA & Ring of Honor World Tag Titles.
4/8/22 AEW Rampage Results
- Bryan Danielson def. Trent Beretta via submission (13:30) with a neck submission hold. William Regal joined the commentary team for this match.
- While HOOK was being interviewed, Danhausen emerged from a trash can, once again trying to curse him. HOOK ignored the curse and just walked off.
- Sammy Guevara and Tay Conti interrupted a Men of the Year in-ring promo. The two insulted Dan Lambert for being a “sexist piece of shit”, while Ethan Page admonished Sammy and Tay for being a “PR disaster waiting to happen”. Sammy said that if Scorpio Sky kept refusing the match, he’d do something about it next week.
- Swerve Strickland def. QT Marshall via pinfall (5:30) following his back heel kick to QT’s head.
- Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs challenged Swerve and his friend Keith Lee to a tag match for Dynamite next week.
- Red Velvet def. Willow Nightingale via pinfall (6:00) to advance to the Women’s Bracket of the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament. Willow had a good showing, with the Boston crowd firmly behind her in this match.
- Jon Moxley def. Wheeler YUTA via referee stoppage (13:00) in one hell of a main event match. Wheeler went right on the offensive at the start by going after Mox as he entered through the crowd. From there, he withstood Mox’s offensive onslaught, including kicking out of two Paradigm Shifts before passing out to the bulldog choke.
- William Regal and Bryan Danielson entered the ring after the match as a bloodied Wheeler beckoned the Blackpool Combat Club to “bring it on”. Regal instead offered a handshake, which Wheeler accepted. The fans cheered on YUTA for this moment as the show ended with Moxley telling the newest BCC member that “now, the real work begins.”
A strong week of action across Dynamite and Rampage, highlighted by two matches that may very well be candidates for Match of the Year when 2022 wraps up.
Just a few days removed from an epic all-time match against the Briscoes at Supercard of Honor, FTR decided to follow that up with one of the best Dynamite main events in recent memory. This match was proof positive that FTR and the Young Bucks are two of the greatest tag teams currently active in all of wrestling.
The “FTR as a babyface tag team” experiment is working like a charm, as evidenced by the Boston fans being solidly behind Dax and Cash for this contest. I think the concept of the two former heels using their knowledge of dirty tricks and turning it against other heel teams is something they can absolutely run with.
While FTR’s split from the Pinnacle didn’t play a factor in this main event tag team match, it should be interesting to see where that goes, especially with MJF intensifying his efforts against Wardlow.
Meanwhile, Rampage saw a bloody encounter between Jon Moxley & Wheeler YUTA that arguably may have been a starmaking performance for the 25 year-old Wheeler. This was a match that showed a lot of progression on Wheeler’s end from the first two times he faced Mox.
In YUTA’s first match with Moxley, he was summarily cast aside in a short squash. His second go-around was longer than the first, but Wheeler couldn’t quite pick up the win. Now in this third match, YUTA refused to back down against Mox’s aggression. Pulling out all the stops in this match got Wheeler closer to victory than ever, even to the point where he withstood two Paradigm Shifts from Moxley.
The alignment of the Blackpool Combat Club is fascinating in that they don’t appear to be clearcut faces or heels, which opens up some flexibility in who they feud against. They can lean as heels for a feud against, say, Best Friends in one instance or be faces to take on the heel-aligned Jericho Appreciation Society.
AEW has succeeded in elevating Wheeler YUTA to a point where the fans are invested in how far his story will go. Fresh off a big win at Supercard of Honor to become the ROH Pure Champion, Wheeler has become one of the more well-built wrestlers on the AEW roster right now. The crowd in Boston was going wild for Wheeler, chanting for him at every turn and cheering for his kickouts of Moxley’s Paradigm Shifts. What happens next in this BCC storyline will be interesting in where YUTA’s character will go. The showdown with the Best Friends is on the horizon and it’ll be fun to see where Wheeler fits into all this.
Before we go, let’s look at what’s ahead on this week’s Dynamite and Rampage:
4/13/22 Dynamite Card
- Eddie Kingston/Santana/Ortiz vs. Chris Jericho/Jake Hager/Daniel Garcia
- AEW Tag Team Championship: Jurassic Express (c) vs. reDRagon
- ROH Television Championship: Minoru Suzuki (c) vs. Samoa Joe
- Ricky Starks/Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Swerve Strickland/Keith Lee
- MJF vs. Capt. Shawn Dean
4/15/22 Rampage Card
- Texas Deathmatch for AEW World Championship: “Hangman” Adam Page (c) vs. Adam Cole
4/16/22 Battle of the Belts Card
- AEW Women’s World Championship: Thunder Rosa (c) vs. Nyla Rose
And with that, we’ll officially call it another week for This Week in AEW. ‘Til next time, keep cool, gabagools.
Marc Quill is the editor of RingCrashers, GateCrashers’ home for all your All Elite Wrestling and indie wrestling needs. He’s also the web novelist behind Skye Emery: Bluebird, which you can read here. You can chat with him about wrestling, comics, and stuff in general on @MarcQuill on Twitter.